France tempers talk of quick end to Kadhafi regime

8th June 2011, Comments 0 comments

French Defence Minister Gerard Longuet on Wednesday downplayed expectations that the war in Libya would end quickly, warning that an "irrational" Moamer Kadhafi makes the outcome unpredictable.

Kadhafi's increasing diplomatic isolation "is making a number of countries believe that all of this can accelerate," Longuet said after a meeting of NATO defence ministers on the alliance's air war in Libya.

The French minister said he did not share that view, adding that NATO was facing "a system that can be unpredictable."

"It's Kadhafi's irrationality that I am talking about," he said. "His way of doing things is totally irrational. He is leading his teams, his systems into a complete dead end."

Longuet conceded that the nearly three-month-old NATO operation was "dragging on" because of its reliance on air power alone. "I don't think it will accelerate," he added."

The defence ministers adopted a statement vowing to keep the pressure on Kadhafi until he steps down and agreed to begin to plan for a post-Kadhafi Libya.

Western allies began to bomb Kadhafi's forces on March 19 to prevent the regime from crushing a revolt.

© 2011 AFP

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